Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our trip to Costa Rica was the trip of a lifetime! What made it special, besides the beautiful Costa Rican countryside, was the people. Our guide, Oscar was wonderful and treated our group great. Our bus driver, Alex, was warm and a fantastic driver who took no chances with his precious cargo, us. The native Indian people were warm and friendly and shared openly with us. Every event was highlighted by wonderful Costa Rican people. Zip lines to rappeling -- all were safety oriented and put our group at ease. There may be cheaper trips out there but his was the Chris Craft of trips totally dedicated to education, fun and safety. The students and I were sold on the Costa Rican Discovery trip. Can't wait to go back!

Mike H.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day #7 ~ Rappeling in Waterfalls (Erik)

Day #7 ~ Rappeling in Waterfalls (Erik): "Today we went rappeling down waterfalls in Costa Rice. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done. The waterfalls ranged from 40-160 feet. One thing I was really surprised about was how fast you can actually go. The guides flew down like it was nothing, but it took me a couple ropes to get used to it. The coolest part of rappeling was going through the waterfalls. I had no clue that rappeling down them meant going through them. The water felt great and the whole rappeling trip was great.


Day #7~ Canyoneering (Cassie)

Day #7~ Canyoneering (Cassie): "

Today we woke up and had breakfast at 6 45. Then we went propelling down some different ropes and some areas had waterfalls.The first one was the highest up and a little scary but then the rest were okay. We all got wet and then we hiked back up to where we started, it was almost all uphill. We changed our clothes and went to eat lunch. The meal was rice with chicken, beans, tortilla, and salad. It was good considering we are in another country.


Day #6~ Pineapples & Cows (Zhou)

Day #6~ Pineapples & Cows (Zhou): "Today we started by going to a pineapple plantation where we were greeted by a family who owns the place. They were very hospitable to us and taught us the history of pineapples and how they grow the pineapple on their farm. For them, it takes a year for the pineapple to grow from a seed to the harvesting. We were so close to seeing the pineapple growing from the ground, but sadly they already harvested it yesterday and so no pineapple was there. Did you know that pineapple grows from the ground, not the tree? I mean, pffft, I already knew that, but possibly others didn't. It was interesting, except for these flies that tried to keep eating me over and over again and so it probably looked like I was disrespectful since I kept swatting the air and kept my head down. But no I was actually listening the whole time. After their speech, they let us try and plant a pineapple in the ground, and from what I saw, it was easy. They said they usually plant 5,000 a day and the record is 8,000 pineapples a day. I could never imagine to do that! But it's worth it in the end once you get to taste it. They let us sample a ripe one in a type of sorbet and it tasted AMAZING.

After we had our introduction with the pineapple farmers, we took a 20 minute hike where we were led to a waterfall. Unlike most of the girls, I was one of the brave ones who took a dip. And all guys went in too except for Corey. It had pretty scenery and we got to chill while we ate some fresh pineapple. But it was pretty interesting because I had to keep my glasses on and I kept it on the whole time, including the time when I was underneath the waterfall where the water hits down hard. But getting my clothes on was NOT fun because of the mud and the mess.

As I said earlier, the family was very hospitable. So when they served us lunch, they were super kind and generous. For example, as my family would know, I am an extremely picky eater. So the only thing I ate was the mashed potatoes and I kept asking for some. And a woman in the family actually kept giving me some (even though her family kind of laughed at me). The lunch was decent, at least for someone who is as picky as me; I should appreciate all the food I'm offered because when am I ever going to Costa Rica again?

Once lunch was over, we walked over to the cows (which are all in the same location) and learned how to make the cows their food and how to get the cows over. The farmers showed us how they milked the cows and then all of us started milking the cows too. In my opinion we were all terrible, especially compared to the farmers who started to show off their milking skills. But Mr. Hess was decent because he was already a farmer as a kid. Then we went back to the tables where we ate where we witnessed the change from our milk to cheese, although there were several pieces of the 'stages of our natural cheese.' There were two types: once that was the natural cheese, and one that was the natural cheese boiled which had the consistency of mozzarella. Both were pretty good, but it could have more flavor.

As part of our giving back project, we planted some trees that are almost becoming extinct but are essential in the Green Macaw diet. They were extremely small and we only needed our hands to plant them. Mine sucked though because I planted it sideways and you're supposed to plant it straight up. Mine's gonna be the odd one out, of course.

We finally said goodbye to the huge family after spending a good few hours with them. We left for a hot spring where we got to relax in several pools, ranging from 90-100 degrees, and relaxed after a vigorous day. It felt so good on my body, and it's interesting because the water just flows through without any cleaning of it or anything. It goes through and out back into the river on the other side of the pools. Then we ate dinner and left and now we're at the hotel.

PS: If you're reading this Mom, just know that once I come home, I'm going to be covered in mosquito bites because Costa Rican bugs just love to eat me.


Day #6 ~ (Kirstynn) :)

Day #6 ~ (Kirstynn) :): "Today we learned about pineapples. In spanish they called pinas. They do not grow on trees! Each plant can grow two pineapples. Then, we hiked to a waterfall. After that, we ate lunch. We had chicken, potatoes, salad, plananos, and some banana thing, and rice. Then I watched everyone milk he cows that I am scared of. And then, we planted yellow almond trees. Then we journeyed to the hot springs, they were beautiful.


Day 5~ Zip Lining (Corey)

Day 5~ Zip Lining (Corey): "
So today was one of the greatest things I have ever experienced. Zip lining was not only fun for the thrill of moving so fast 600 feet above the trees but for the amazing view that came with it. You could see for miles while flying through the trees and it was a view I will never forget. Seeing the lake and the two volcanoes that well was amazing. I also think it is cool that our hotel is at the base of two mile-high volcanoes! It is something I don’t think I will ever be able to do again in my life and am glad I am getting to see it with a great group of people.


Day 5~ Zip Lining (Chantel)

Day 5~ Zip Lining (Chantel): "

I can’t believe that I am actually in Costa Rica! I miss all of my friends and family very much but otherwise everything is great. Today I went zip lining with all of the people that I have met here in Costa Rica. It was so much fun. I can’t believe that I actually did the zip line I can’t wait till I can go waterfall rappelling. I also am excited because I get to try new and exciting things.

Adventure Details

Duration 8 days
Destinations San Jose
Arenal Volcano
Caribbean Coast
Focus Ecology/Conservation